The safety restraint in Washington's shutdown

The US House easily has enough votes to end the shutdown immediately, but may need to hobble on for another two weeks to avoid an even more reckless stunt.

There is a view, often espoused by libertarians and small government conservatives, that the US constitution is designed to make the act of governing as troublesome as possible. By granting the president and the two houses of Congress separate but overlapping powers, the theory goes, the Founding Fathers wanted to make passing laws or enacting budgets so difficult that few laws or budgets would ever see the light of day. 


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